20 days to World Cup | Shane Warne spins the web during Australia's 1999 title-winning campaign

Their 1999 campaign was aided by Shane Warne's brilliant wicket taking abilities. the legendary leg-spinner finished as the highest wicket-taker alongside New Zealand's Geoff Allott with 20 wickets. 

Published: 10th May 2019 11:42 PM  |   Last Updated: 11th May 2019 08:04 PM   |  A+A-

Warne's four-fer in the finals against Pakistan helped him end as the tournament's leading wicket-taker | AP

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Australia's ODI side became a force to reckon with after their 1999 World Cup triumph. They went on to win the next two World Cups in 2003 and 2007 and dominate world cricket in a fashion no other team has ever done before. 

Their 1999 campaign was aided by Shane Warne's brilliant wicket taking abilities. The legendary leg-spinner finished as the highest wicket-taker alongside New Zealand's Geoff Allott with 20 wickets. 

Shane Warne sent the warning across right at the start of the tournament as he claimed three wickets for 39 runs against Scotland to restrict the debutants for 181/7 at Worcester. 

Shane Warne starred again in the group stages against the Windies at Manchester. He bowled an economical spell of 3/11 from his 10 overs to help Glenn McGrath (5 for 14) bundle out the Caribbeans for 110 runs. 

He kept his best for the most important matches in the tournament, the semi-final and the finals. Playing against a strong South African side at Birmingham, Australia were bowled out for 213 courtesy a five-wicket haul by Shaun Pollock and a four-wicket spell by Allan Donald. 

Chasing 214 to make their first World Cup finals, the Proteas had to deal with Warne's leg-break before the famous last-over drama unfolded. South Africa were cruising at 43/0 before Warne was introduced. 

With his tongue sticking out, Shane Warne bowled both the openers Herschelle Gibbs and Gary Kirsten in successive overs to put Australia back in the game. Gibbs' wicket was one of Aussie's best ODI scalp, as he looped in a delivery that pitched out the leg-stump and went on to clip the off stump. 

Kirsten's off stump was also uprooted in a similar fashion as Kirsten missed a sweep shot. South Africa skipper Hansie Cronje was the new man in and he didn't have any answer to Warne's bowling prowess as leggie got him out caught by Mark Waugh at first slip.

The replays suggested that the ball had spun a lot but did not find an edge of Cronje's bat but without DRS Cronje was in the dug-out and South Africa were in trouble. Warne, on the other hand, was embraced by his teammates as he got three wickets in space of eight deliveries.

Warne bowled eight overs at a stretch before he was rested. When he returned again, Proteas were in a comfortable position with Jacques Kallis batting on 53 off 91 deliveries. With 39 to off 32 deliveries and five wickets in hand, Warne showed his class again as he had Kallis caught at covers trying to check a shot. He finished with 4/29 with four maidens from his 10 overs.

South Africa fought their way to tie the score but were bowled out as the last man Allan Donald was run-out with two balls to spare. Australia reached the finals due to head-to-head win in the Super Six stage.

Warne then weaved his magic in the finals against Pakistan claiming four-wicket for just 33 runs to knock Pakistan over for 132 runs. Australia won the match by eight wickets in 20.1 overs to win their second World Cup title.

Warne played two World Cups and finished with 32 wickets from 17 matches at an average of 19.5 which is much better than his overall ODI average.

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